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# Isotopic age dating patterson

Let’s go through an example of calculating the age of a rock with the radioactive nuclide Rubidium-87 (Rb87).

This was calculated by taking precise measurements of things in the dirt and in meteorites and using the principles of radioactive decay to determine an age. The rest will have decayed into a different nuclide (called a nuclide).

Several radioactive nuclides exist in nature with half-lives long enough to be useful for geologic dating.

The slope of the line can then be solved for $$t$$, giving us the age of the rock.

As a bonus, the intercept ($$b$$) of the line tells us the value of $$\text_$$ because we know the line was flat when the age of the rock was zero. Note that the values of the axes are actually normalized by Sr86 because the mass spectrometers used to take these measurements are much more accurate at relative values than they are at absolutes.

The data have been replotted from the tables of .

The best-fit line shown in Figure 3 has a slope of 0.602459.He used a lead isotope isochron method using measurements from three different meteorites (lead-206, lead-207 are the eventual decay products of uranium-238 and uranium-235).He then took measurements from the deep ocean that fell squarely on the meteorite isochron, suggesting that the Earth and the meteorites were both created at the same time, 4.55 billion years ago.At this point, its radiometric clock starts ticking.Though the Rb and Sr concentrations differ, it’s safe to assume that the isotopic makeup of Sr and of Rb is the same everywhere.The animation in Figure 2 shows the flat line and how it increases with time. It works because Sr86 is stable and not radiogenic and therefore stays constant with time.The isochron method can determine the age of any rock, but new rocks are formed all the time.Parts of the rock that have more Rb87 will end up with more Sr87.By measuring a few samples of the rock and comparing the relative amounts of Sr87 and Rb87, we can figure out how old the rock is! If you think about it, the equation above is a lot like the formula for a line, $$y=mx b$$ with $$y=\text_$$, $$m= \left(e^-1 \right)$$, $$x=\text_$$, and $$b=\text_$$.The isotopic lead ages for Pultusk may be concordant; those for a sample of Richardton are not.The lack of concordance for Richardton is not due to the analytical procedures, rather it is likely a result of the handling history of the chondrite prior to analysis.